Gran died from fatal head injury after care home worker accidentally hit her with toilet door, coroner rules

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A gran died after a care home worker accidentally opened a toilet door and caused a fatal head injury, a coroner has ruled.

Anne Horner, 81, was in a ground floor cubicle at the Oak Lodge Care Home in Prestwich when the worker opened the door and banged her head.

The pensioner was later found collapsed in her room and died at Salford Royal Hospital.

Following an inquest into her death, Bury and Rochdale Coroner Simon Nelson ruled that Mrs Horner died from a head injury caused by the ‘inadvertent impact’ with the toilet door around seven hours before her death.

The inquest in Heywood heard that Mrs Horner was found collapsed and unresponsive in her room at the care home at around 9.40am on March 25 last year, about four hours after the bump and she was taken to hospital.

Mrs Horner, from Bury, was suffering from kidney cancer and was on medicines to stop blood clotting.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Nelson told the inquest hearing: “Against the backdrop of increasing frailty of health and use of anti-coagulation therapy, Anne Horner died at Salford Royal Hospital on March 25, 2014, from a traumatic head injury precipitated initially by the inadvertent impact with a toilet door which was being opened at Oak Lodge Care Home at approximately 5.15am that day but which may have been aggravated by a subsequent trauma following her collapse at approximately 9.40am that day whilst at the care home.”

Mrs Horner’s daughter Catherine Vinden had previously told the inquest she arrived at the hospital to find a ‘huge’ lump on the left side of her mother’s head.

“It was the size of a golf ball. It was a fresh lump. It was shocking. It was purple-red in colour,” she said.

Her mother, who had four grandchildren, died around seven hours after the incident at the Bury New Road premises.

Healthcare worker Christopher Gibson told the inquest he opened the door because he wanted to make sure the window was closed.

The toilet lights, which were controlled by movement sensors, were off and he believed nobody was inside.

He said: “I had hold of the handle. When I pushed the door, it hit her on the head and she said, ‘ouch’ and I pulled it back. When I looked around the door, I could see Anne rubbing her head.”

The inquest heard Mrs Horner had suffered another bump to her head when another worker opened a toilet door into her three weeks earlier.

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